Corte Bella resident Felma has always been on the move. Originally from Iowa, she set out and settled in many different states over the years: California, Texas and even Florida. Even when her husband passed away and Felma finally decided to settle down in the Corte Bella community in Arizona to be closer to her sister, her adventurous nature and independent spirit could not be extinguished. She wanted to explore, meet new people and be able to complete basic chores like grocery shopping. But there was a problem—she does not drive.
It is a problem faced by many seniors in the Northwest Valley. Many want the independence of driving their own vehicles but cannot due to illness, age or disability. Some, like Felma, have access to family members who can drive but do not want to be a burden. “Though my sister lives nearby and can drive, I don’t want to bother her,” Felma says. “She takes care of her husband and has her own life. I don’t want to have to depend on anyone.”
Luckily, Felma was able to contact Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) and inquire about transportation services available to her. She was able to find a ride to the grocery store, and even to mall outings with NVC’s Group Connect trips. “It was so easy,” she says. “The call center gave me options for services available. They were friendly, helpful and most importantly—accommodating.”
The willingness to accommodate to meet clients’ needs is one of Felma’s favorite parts about NVC. “Even when I don’t call in soon enough to schedule a ride, NVC tries their hardest to accommodate me anyway,” she says. “One day I asked if I could combine a trip to the library and the grocery store, and it was no problem at all! Northwest Valley Connect says they are here to help and they really do.”
On a recent Group Connect trip to the Arrowhead Mall, NVC once again proved their ability to be flexible. Though the trip was originally scheduled to go only to the mall, the bus made a special stop for Felma at Costco so she could go grocery shopping instead.
Felma also praises NVC’s ability to problem solve. To connect with the Group Connect trip’s scheduled pickup location, Felma had to take a taxi. The cost of the taxi fare there and back to her home was starting to add up. Luckily, NVC was able to help Felma cut costs by connecting her with a volunteer driver who lived in her neighborhood. “Connecting me with a volunteer driver was the best possible solution,” she says. “Now Group Connect trips are even more reasonably priced for me!”
Without Northwest Valley Connect, this well-seasoned traveler admits that life would be a little bland. “Life would certainly be boring,” she says. “I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere!” She looks forward to more group outings on Group Connect trips, and even has some ideas on where she would love the group to travel next.
Felma is sure that other seniors could benefit from NVC’s services. “I would recommend NVC to any senior in need of a ride,” she says. “It is very convenient. The staff is exceptional and so friendly. They do a lot of nice things for a lot of people in need.”
If you are like Felma and need help filling your transportation needs or would like to participate in a Group Connect trip, contact Northwest Valley Connect at (623) 282-9300 or by visiting online at northwestvalleyconnect.flywheelsites.com.